Swory and methodsvery important
Theories are necessary for effective practice because they aid our understanding of complex issues, enable us to avoid anti-discriminatory practice, and promote evidence based practice. For the purpose of the case study B, within this essay I will critically evaluate and apply the task-centre approach and crisis intervention, their effectiveness in practice and determine the strength and weaknesses by arguing and comparing. This will be illustrated by applying both methods to my intervention on the case-study B. Throughout this assignment I will incorporate anti-discriminative and anti-oppressive practice (ADP, AOP) not only within the model of task-centred and crisis work but with an overall view to social work practice and how oppression can be addressed. Due to the word limitation I have attached an Appendix of the case study B.
The first intervention I have chosen is Task-centred approach; it tends to be very structured and person-centred and it can be oriented to ease the most pressing problems. Task Centered practice has been developed within SW itself and tested in a wide variety of circumstances. The procedural aspect of task-centred practice has clearly been shaped by community care policy and care management. Time-limits, plan and contract based are key features of care management practice (Ford and Postle, 2000).
The method is informed by a theoretical framework, which includes elements of systems theory, ego psychology, behaviourism, and empowerment theory. Hence the precise form it may take will be influenced by one or more of these theoretical traditions.
Task-centred practice draws heavily from other problem solving methodology such as positive reframing from family therapy (Payne, 1997) and is in direct contrast to the more paternalistic professional practice traditionally employed.
The values of self-determination and empowerment are central, as the SU is seen as the best authority on their problems. Task-centred work fits closely with concepts of partnership and participation, in that the SU should be fully informed and as fully involved as possible. Its principle stance on open, collaborative and accountable practice is clearly compatible with the values of AOP (Doel and Marsh, 1992).
The most important characteristics of the approach are '...that it is focused on problem-solving, and that it is short-term and time-limited' (Ford and Postle 2000:53). The principle aim of task-centred work is to resolve problems presented by the SU. Hence the starting point of this practice is the problem. Task-centred practice is characterised by mutual clarity and therefore should only be carried out under the following three conditions; SU must acknowledge the problem and be willing to work on it, they should be in a position to take action to reduce the problem and the problem must be specific and limited in nature. Because the recent diagnosis of breast cancer has left
The initial phase of task-centred practice is problem exploration. During this phrase key problems are identified, and then prioritised. A maximum of three problems should be worked on. Too 'many selected problems will probably lead to confusion and dissipated effort' (Doel and Marsh, 1992:31). Having selected the problem(s) the worker would then find out what the ...... wants to happen, what goal(s) they wish to achieve. Case B
Once the basis for work is established, the social worker and ... ...... precede in a series of incremental steps towards the goal(s). According to Doel (1994) the journey from agreeing the objective to achieving it is measured in small steps called tasks. These are the pieces of work done by the SU and the worker in order to help the SU achieve his or her objective- the alleviation of the problem. The first task was to explore possible areas and once a suitable area was identified the second task was to arrange a family appointment so that B could ........ Once B .............
Methods or techniques for achieving the task(s) should be negotiated with the SU. Task-centred practice 'is designed to enhance the problem solving skills of participants, so it is important that tasks undertaken by clients involve elements of decision making and self-direction ...If the work goes well then they will progressively exercise more control over the implementation of tasks, ultimately enhancing their ability to resolve problems independently' (Ford and Postle, 2000:55).
The task-centred approach enabled fast and effective support to be provided for the SU. The 'time-limit is a brief statement about the likely length of time needed to reach the goal' (Doel and Marsh, 1992:51). A time limit is important for a number of reasons. It guards against drift, allows time for a review and encourages accountability. It also acts as an indicator of progress (Adams, Dominelli and Payne, 2002). The task phase consists of a series of developments and reviews. The implementation of reviews is important because it allows for an assessment of the success of the steps taken thus far and for any revision if required and also gives much greater accountability. The ending of the process of task-centred work will have been anticipated at the initial phrase. The concluding session should include a review of the work that has been accomplished by the SU in order to alleviate the target problem.
There are many advantages to task-centred practice. The main advantage is that task-centred practice does not mean simply assigning tasks, which is most common in behavioural and family therapies. It is a very well researched, feasible, and cost-effective method of working. It also takes into account not only individual, but also collective experiences. The source of the problem is not presumed to reside in only the service-user. Attention is paid to external factors such as welfare rights and housing, and where there is scope to supply 'power' it is taken in the form of information and knowledge giving. It also addresses the strengths of people and their networks. And it does not rely on the notion of self-disclosure via a one-way, vertical helping relationship. It attempts to put worker and client on the same level (Coulshed & Orme 1998: 123).
Althought the advantages to task-centred practice can be easily identified, the disadvantages and drawbacks are not as easy, as they are based on research. Research is important and vital as it enables us to see the drawbacks from within practice. Therefore, it is not only looking at the approach widely and hypothesising disadvantages, but putting the approach into practice and gathering relevant information to analyse any negative conclusions. Some of these disadvantages would be that underlying problems requiring longer term approaches may go unnoticed, it requires sustained efforts from SU who may sometimes be unable to do this due to physical or emotional strengths. Clients may be overwhelmed by problems and unable to deal with them in a structured way. However the social worker would still have a positive gain by improving their capacity for clearer thinking and forward planning, which in turn brings on successful intervention. It becames more realistic to tackle small, manageable objectives, rather than vague global ones (Coulshed & Orme 1998: 119).
The second intervention I have chosen is the Crisis intervention, which tends to be quite eclectic in the models it uses. It is a psychodynamic model which derives largely from Freud. Thompson (2005, p66) relates to the internal psychological conflicts between the irrational pleasure drives of the id and the social conscience of the super ego or psychological 'regulator'. This approach to social work sees social problems as owing much to a conflict between the wishes and the constraints and requirements of society. However Erickson (1959, 1963) provided a dividing line between two different types of crisis, maturational development and accidental-situational. Joanna's situation would fit into the accidental model which arises when individuals are affected by unexpected life events, such as her recent diagnosis of breast cancer, and her
Joanna sees herself in a state of emotional disequilibrium and is struggling to adjust and find a new sense of balance of all her problems, which seem for her at the time insuperable. She is in a triple jeopardy situation, trying to cope with the demands of her family and her own illness.
Caplan saw the word 'crisis' as referring to the persons emotional reaction to events not the event it's self. Crisis intervention intervenes when people have reached a situation in their lives they can no longer cope with. Thompson (2005, p 69) describes it as a turning point in peoples lives which creates a lot of energy that can be used positively to tackle problems, resolve difficulties and move beyond previous barriers to progress. This would empower and help ....... to identify her major problems and find better coping mechanisms.
By providing support such as home visits this would help with the breakdown of care for her son and sister (family) and offer Joanna time for herself to come to terms with her illness.
Because crisis intervention is time centered, other possible alternatives like counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could be offered if Dolores feels she is not progressing in the time frame. The methods I would use are the Roberts (1995:18) seven stage model.
- Assessing lethality ( risk of suicide or violence to others)
- Establishing rapport and effective communication skills.
- Identifying what she sees has her major problems.
- Dealing with her feelings and providing support where necessary.
- Exploring any other possible alternatives such as CBT.
- Formulating an action plan that works for her, so that she can reach her goals and feels empowered.
- Follow up measures, such as visits or counseling.
I would remain self aware of my own biases and vulnerabilities and recognize how these could have an impact on my own judgment and actions. As Lishman (p146) quotes. You need to be fully aware of your own bias and vulnerabilities, pinpoint their sources and recognize their impacts on your judgment and actions.
Payne, (1996:p43) quotes that the term intervention is oppressive. It indicates the moral and political authority of the social worker to invade the social territories of service users.
....... could see this intervention as being intrusive; this may oppress her and make her feel powerless as she has the main role of the parent and house keeper in the family and may feel these have been taken away from her. Dolores may feel detached from her family and internalize the problem, and may not focus on the situation; instead she may focus on the intrusion. So the social worker may not get a true picture of her feelings and may interpret things wrongly and make assumptions.
Crisis intervention often demands quick responses in a limited time period and different people cultures may see this as questioning and make them feel discriminated against.
As Dykeman (2005;p32) states the focus of crisis intervention is directed to such personality factors as coping mechanisms and individual resilience, as well as the environmental factors as the sources of emotional support. Yet the cultural context of crisis is often neglected, despite the subtle influence of culture upon the appraisal of victims and circumstance.
As Pederson (1987) suggests culture plays a strong role in how crisis is interpreted, both for the crisis intervener and the crisis victim. The crisis intervener and the crisis victim often come from different cultures. I.e. age, gender, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, religion, occupation, income, and education, mental and psychical disabilities.
Dykeman (2005, p45). These alone could cause oppression to the client. However, Rosenbluh, (2002) states crisis intervention provides an immediate and temporary emotional first aid to the victim. With specific interventions targeted to the victim and to the circumstances of the presenting problems. This allows the social worker to work in an anti- oppressive way.
It is vital to establish rapport and trust between people of different cultures, and to be able to communicate verbally and none verbally to ensure anti-oppressive practice. Rapaport (1970) stated such a problem focused approach is said to be likely to achieve a healthy resolution of the crisis.
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